Jan 2, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Edmonton Oilers goalieDevan Dubnyk
(40) makes a save against Chicago Blackhawks right wingMarian Hossa
(81) during the third period at the United Center. The Oilers beat the Blackhawks 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Game #19 – Edmonton Oilers (7-7-3) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (15-0-3)
Game Time – 7:30 Central Time
TV – CSN-Chicago
Radio – WGN Radio
Preview – The Edmonton Oilers will be looking to start their nine-game road trip off right with a victory in Chicago – the city where their trip ends two weeks later. This is the first of three meetings for the two teams this season, and let’s hope it doesn’t play out like last year. In four regular season meetings in the 2011-2012 season, the Oilers took the 3-1 lead and outscored the Blackhawks 24-15. One of those games ended 9-2 and another 8-4 in favor of the Oilers – both in Edmonton.
The Oilers are 13th in the West with 17 points and are coming off of a 5 game home stand and a 3-2 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday night. The Blackhawks are the best in the West with 13 points and have their first back-to-back game since late January when they played in Columbus then hosted the Red Wings the following night.
The Oilers are a young team that is very fast and seemed to have the Hawks figured out last season. They have enough offensive talent to make any team concerned, but will be without their young stars Taylor Hall and Ryan Jones due to a suspension and injury. The Blackhawks will not have Dave Bolland who is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Fatigue is the biggest concern going into tonight’s game against a youthful, skilled Edmonton team.
Prediction – The Blackhawks seem to be tiring from their long point streak, but even then, players step up, like Corey Crawford did last night against the Blue Jackets to get the shutout and the win. The Oilers had a day off, but also did some traveling. They’ll be working themselves up to take on the best team in the NHL and have the confidence from their sizable wins last season. I think it will be a fast-paced game that will go into overtime, but the Blackhawks again find a way to win and get a 4-3 victory with a goal from Jonathan Toews.
Do you think the Blackhawks can keep their point streak alive against the Oilers?